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Science & Exploration

N° 14–2007: European astronauts 'on stage' in Rome on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Rome Treaties

16 March 2007

On 26 March, as part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Rome Treaties, an event with the European Space Agency’s astronauts will take place at the University of Rome La Sapienza, with the participation of Italian Research Minister Fabio Mussi.


The event, dubbed "A night in space: meet the European astronauts", is being organised jointly by the European Commission Representation in Italy, the French Embassy in Italy, the European Space Agency, the University of Rome Sapienza and the Italian Space Agency.

Members of the European Astronaut Corps will guide the audience – students, representatives from European embassies in Rome, European industry, Italian and European institutions and media representatives – through a wonderful adventure in space exploration, providing answers to questions such as "What is the International Space Station (ISS) for?", "What is it like living in space?" and "How does one work in the absence of gravity?" and many more.

The astronauts will share their experiences through videos and personal anecdotes about their past missions to the Space Station. The audience will also learn how scientific experiments are conducted in space in cooperation with universities, scientific research institutes and schools.

This event will be an opportunity to demonstrate how international cooperation in space has successfully contributed over the past five decades to the construction of a sustainable process of peace and prosperity in Europe and how space is one of the “success stories” of European integration.

The event will be opened at 18:00 by the first European astronaut to have stayed onboard the ISS and now a Member of the European Parliament, Umberto Guidoni, and will be moderated by the well-known Italian RAI TV science journalist, Silvia Rosa Brusin.

Claudie Haigneré, former ESA astronaut, who logged one mission on Mir and one on the ISS, and was the first woman to qualify as a Soyuz Return Commander, in 1999, will close the event, retracing the history of the fantastic achievements of humans in space over the last 50 years, since the first Sputnik flight.

In addition to the event, an exhibition entitled "The Europe of space and aerospace", will be put on in Rome from 27 March to 7 April, at the CIDE (European Information and Documentation Centre), Via IV Novembre, 149, as a showcase of European excellence in the field of research and technology.

Media representatives wishing to attend the event are kindly requested to fill in the attached registration form.

For further information, please contact:

Ms Franca Morgia

ESA/ESRIN Corporate Communication Office

Tel: + 39 06 94180951

Fax: + 39 06 94180352


European astronauts 'on stage' in Rome




Umberto Guidoni, European Member of Parliament

Renato Guarini, Dean of La Sapienza University

Piervirgilio Dastoli, Director of the European Commission Representation in Rome

Daniel Sacotte, ESA's Director for Human Spaceflight, Exploration and Microgravity Programmes

Vincenzo Roppo, Italian Space Agency Commissioner

Yves Aubin de la Messuzière, France's Ambassador to Italy



18:20-18:30 Michel Tognini

The European Space Agency, recent missions by astronauts, and the International Space Station as a step forward in exploration

18:30-18:40 Gerhard Thiele

The European Astronaut Corps and its Charter: The European Spirit in Space

18:40-18:55 Roberto Vittori

My missions to the International Space Station

18:55-19:10 Christer Fuglesang

My work in space

19:10-19:20 André Kuipers

Educational activities during my mission


Claudie Haigneré, Advisor to the ESA Director General

50 years of Rome Treaties and 50 years of Sputnik



La Sapienza University - Aula Magna (main amphitheatre) - Piazzale Aldo Moro, 5 Roma

Monday 26 March 2007 - 18:00 start

First name:__________________ Last name:____________________





[ ] I will participate

[ ] I will not participate

Please return this form to:

Franca Morgia

ESA/ESRIN Corporate Communication Office

Tel: + 39 06 94180951

Fax: + 39 06 94180352


For further information:

ESA Media Relations Office

Tel: +33.1.5369.7155

Fax: +33.1.5369.7690